WHAT DOES A
FILM PRODUCER DO?
A producer is the only person who is involved in the making of a film from the
very start (idea) to the very end (delivery). He is the person
that ‘makes’ things happen and organizes, protects, supervises
and consults the rest of the production crew. The producer ‘marries’
the money, which he gets from the executive producer, with the
talent. If a film is good, it is because the producer selected
the correct people. He has to make sure that everyone working
on the production of the film, look at the same direction and
have a clear vision on what the initial ‘prototype’ of the final
outcome he wants to accomplish. He has to manage to retain integrity
to the film and make sure that everyone does his job well, productive
Good producers have to think ahead, be aware of all variables, have organizational
skills, communication skills, and think practically without jeopardizing
the artistic process of filmmaking. They have to be aware of
the market and business environment and understand the basic
laws of product placement, market research and of selling a product.
They have to be talented and creative, be able to find talent,
and communicate the art and talent to and between the people
involved in the production. In addition, good relationships and
many contacts are also essential elements of a good and successful
producer as well as skills of delegating, organizing and administrating.
Evidently, they have to have full knowledge of the technological
and practical side of filmmaking procedure and also be aware
of the art and philosophy behind film. To end with, a producer
has to have luck and the ability to find the maximum amount of
money, without jeopardizing anyone’s financial state.
The producer is an entrepreneur who recognizes
how to originate or notice a product, how to put it together
and how to market it. An innovative producer will be involved
in all aspects of the filmmaking process, including selecting
and working with the screenwriter, hiring the director, casting,
editing and selecting the composer. During production, he is
responsible for staying within the budget and spending the money,
with the help of the line producer, in the best way possible
to accommodate and serve the making of the picture.
Fundamentally, the producer is in charge of
the employment, production, business/financing requirements,
marketing provisions and finally the legal compliances required
for any film to be made. The basic steps into making a film made
is getting the idea, then developing it into a script by means
of collaborating with the screenwriter, then finding the finance
for the film, followed by the formation of a package for the
film to be presented and pitched, finalizing the finance procedures
and finally getting “the green light” from the production company
in order to move onto the phase of preproduction.
Concerning the employment component, the producer
is responsible in finding the correct writer and director for
his idea that he thinks would best accommodate the feel and style
of the story/script. Regarding the process of creating the package
for a film, the producer has to be able to prepare very early
on a very detailed package for the film he wants to formulate.
The ‘final finance’ section is the detailed description of how
and when the producer is planning to get the money from the executive
producers et cetera, for all three divisions of production (preproduction,
production and post production).
The producer generally has a group of people
that work around him in order to help and support him with the
massive workload and paperwork he has to produce. There is the
co-producer, somebody who works directly with the producer and
in cases of large films splits the work with the head producer.
Next, there is the line producer, which is the person that spends
the money of the production, which comes from the executive producers.
He has to have the ability to see the potential of a project
and/or people and is often referred to as the ‘physically production
boss’. Other examples of the production team that the producer
is surrounded by, is: associate producers, location manager,
production coordinator, production secretary, line manager and
After the completion of the last phase of
production, post production, and the final cut has been delivered
the producer is responsible to deliver the film, with all its
necessary paperwork and legal documents to a sales agent, who
will consecutively will move onto distribution, then to the exhibitor
and finally reach the cinemas or Television, where individual
people will pay to watch the film.
Each producer works differently and with different
people every time. The work of producer is always alike; however
the level of finance and talent involved in each different project
makes his work much more complicated and tiring or very easy
Producing is a hard job, time consuming and
it combines many different elements together. There are producers
who usually work with the same people every time. There are numerous
diverse producers and each one has his own unique line of work
and ways of approaching a project.
By Konstantinos Vassilaros
A FILM PRODUCER DO?